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Pidgin is a chat program which lets you log into accounts on multiple chat networks simultaneously. It is compatible with Jabber/XMPP, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, and Zephyr, and many more chat networks with plugins.


Install the pidgin package. Notable variants are:

  • Pidgin Light — Light Pidgin version without GStreamer, Tcl/Tk, XScreenSaver, video/voice support. || pidgin-lightAUR[broken link: package not found]

You may also want to install additional plugins from the purple-plugin-pack.


The aspell package will be installed as a dependency, but to prevent all of your text from showing up as incorrect you will need to install an aspell dictionary. See the aspell article.

Note: The switch spell plugin is included in the purple-plugin-pack. It allows you to switch between multiple languages.



Pidgin has out-of-the-box support for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Although AIM has officially ceased, unofficial AIM-based servers like AIM Phoenix operate and can be used on Pidgin by changing the server address in the AIM protocol account settings.

Discord plugin

Warning: There is currently an open GitHub issue regarding temporary IP bans after using purple-discord.

Install the purple-discord-gitAUR package.

Then add a new account, select Discord as the protocol, enter your Discord login e-mail address and its password.


Install the purple-facebookAUR[broken link: package not found] package. (or purple-facebook-gitAUR)

Then add a new account, select Facebook as the protocol, enter your Facebook username and password and login.

Google (Hangouts)

Install the purple-hangouts-gitAUR[broken link: package not found] package.


Pidgin only comes with the original OSCAR ICQ protocol. Since December 2018, the old OSCAR protocol is no longer officially supported as it has been replaced by the newer WIM protocol. To make use of the new WIM protocol on ICQ, you should install the purple-icyque-gitAUR plug-in.


This is a small tutorial for connecting to the Libera Chat network. It should work for other IRC networks as long as you substitute the port numbers and other specific settings.

Go to Accounts > Manage Accounts > Add. Fill/select the following options:

Protocol: IRC
Username: your username

Now go to Buddies > New instant message (or hit Ctrl+m), fill '' in the textbox and, then click 'Ok'. Type:

/join #archlinux

The channel is irrelevant.

In order to register your nick, type:

/msg nickserv register password email-addres

Follow the instructions from the registration mail. For further help type:

/msg nickserv help
/msg nickserv help command

This final step will add your channel to 'Buddies': go to Buddies > Add chat, fill the correct channel in the textbox named channel (#archlinux).

Sametime protocol

Install the libpurple-meanwhileAUR package. The 'Sametime' protocol will be available when creating an account.

Skype plugin

Install the purple-skypeweb or purple-skypeweb-gitAUR package.

Slack plugin

Install the slack-libpurple-gitAUR package.

Rocket.Chat plugin

Install the purple-rocketchat-gitAUR package.

Telegram plugin

This article or section is out of date.

Reason: The telegram-purple project is abandoned. See also Diff/704779. As mentioned in the previous links, telegram-tdlib-purple-gitAUR is its successor package. (Discuss in Talk:Pidgin)

Install the telegram-purpleAUR or telegram-purple-gitAUR package.

Enter your Telegram phone number when creating the account, after which you will receive an SMS text message with a confirmation code, which you will have to enter to authorize your Telegram protocol account on Pidgin.


Pidgin has out-of-the-box support for the XMPP/Jabber chat protocol. Some additional plugins exist for support of XMPP extensions such as OMEMO (libpurple-lurch) or Message Carbons (libpurple-carbonsAUR).


Pidgin uses Libpurple 2 which stores passwords unencrypted (in plaintext) in $HOME/.purple/account.xml, see [1]. You can store them in a keyring by using a plugin like:


Pidgin has some privacy rules set by default. Namely, the whole world cannot send you messages; only your contacts or people selected from a list. Adjust this, and other settings in Tools > Privacy.


This is a plugin that brings Off-The-Record (OTR) messaging to Pidgin. OTR is a cryptographic protocol that will encrypt your instant messages.

First you need to install pidgin-otr from the official repositories. Once this has been done, OTR has been added to Pidgin.

  1. To enable OTR, start Pidgin and go to Tools > Plugins or press Ctrl+u. Scroll down to the entry entitled "Off-The-Record Messaging". If the checkbox beside it is not checked, check it.
  2. Next, click on the plugin entry and select "Configure plugin" at the bottom. Select which account you wish to generate a key for, then click "Generate". You will have now generated a private key. If you are not sure what the other options do, leave them, the default options will work fine.
  3. The next step is to contact a buddy who also has OTR installed. In the chat window, a new icon should appear to the top right of your text input box. Click on it, and select "Start private conversation". This will start an 'Unverified' session. Unverified sessions are encrypted, but not verified - that is, you have started a private conversation with someone using your buddy's account who has OTR, but who might not be your buddy. The steps for verification of a buddy are beyond the scope of this section; however, they might be added in the future.


pidgin-encryptionAUR transparently encrypts your instant messages with RSA encryption. Easy-to-use, but very secure.

You can enable it the same way as Pidgin-OTR.

Now you can open conversation window and new icon should appear beside menu. Press it to enable or disable encryption. Also if you want to make encryption enabled by default right-click on a buddy's name (in your buddy list), and select Turn Auto-Encrypt On. Now, whenever a new conversation window for that buddy is opened, encryption will start out as enabled.


Pidgin-GPG transparently encrypt conversations using GPG, and taking advantage of all the features of a pre-existing WoT.

The plugin is available on AUR as pidgin-gpg-gitAUR. It can be enabled the same way as the previously mentioned ones.

Other packages

Arch has other Pidgin-related packages. Here are the most popular (for a thorough list, search the AUR):

  • pidgin-libnotifyAUR - Libnotify support, for theme-consistent notifications
  • pidgin-latexAUR - A small latex plugin for pidgin. Put math between $$ and have it rendered (recepient also needs to have this installed)

Auto logout on suspend

If you suspend your computer pidgin seems to stay connected for about 15 minutes. To prevent message loss, it is needed to set your status offline before suspending or hibernating. The status message will not be changed.

Therefore create a new systemd unit pidgin-suspend in /etc/systemd/system Take the following snippet and replace myuser with your user.

Description=Suspend Pidgin

ExecStart=-/usr/bin/purple-remote setstatus?status=offline
ExecStop=-/usr/bin/purple-remote setstatus?status=available


Minimize to tray

To make use of the Xfce system tray go to preferences and enable the system tray in the section "Interface". You can now close the main window and run pidgin minimized. You will also be able to see message notifications in the tray.

History import Kopete to Pidgin

This article or section is being considered for removal.

Reason: Kopete has been dead for a while upstream and is no longer in the AUR, if people needed to migrate it's probably been done for a while. (Discuss in Talk:Pidgin)
  • Install xalan-c and create ~/bin/ with this code:



if [ ! -d $KOPETE_DIR ];then
    echo "Kopete log directory not found"
    exit 1;

if [ ! -d $PIDGIN_DIR ];then
    echo "Pidgin log directory not found"
    exit 2;

    PIDGIN_PROTODIR=$(echo $KOPETE_PROTODIR | sed 's/Protocol//' | tr [:upper:] [:lower:])
    for accnum in $(ls $KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR); do
        echo "Account number: $accnum"
        for num in $(ls $KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR/$accnum); do
            FILENAME=$(Xalan $KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR/$accnum/$num $CURRENT_DIR/history_import_kopete2pidgin_filename.xslt)
            if [ $? = 0 ]; then
                echo "$KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR/$accnum/$num"
                echo " -> $PIDGIN_DIR/$PIDGIN_PROTODIR/$FILENAME"
                mkdir -p $(dirname $PIDGIN_DIR/$PIDGIN_PROTODIR/$FILENAME)
                Xalan -o $PIDGIN_DIR/$PIDGIN_PROTODIR/$FILENAME $KOPETE_DIR/$KOPETE_PROTODIR/$accnum/$num $CURRENT_DIR/history_import_kopete2pidgin.xslt
  • Make ~/bin/ executable
  • Create ~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin.xslt with this code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="">
    <xsl:output method="text" indent="no" />

    <xsl:template match="kopete-history">
        <xsl:apply-templates select="msg"/>

    <xsl:template match="msg">
        <xsl:value-of select="translate(substring-after(@time,' '),':',',')"/>
        <xsl:text>) </xsl:text>
        <xsl:value-of select="@nick"/>
        <xsl:if test="not(@nick) or @nick = ">
            <xsl:value-of select="@from"/>
        <xsl:text>: </xsl:text>
        <xsl:value-of select="."/>
  • Create ~/bin/history_import_kopete2pidgin_filename.xslt with this code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="">
    <xsl:output method="text" indent="no" />

    <xsl:template match="kopete-history">
        <xsl:value-of select="head/contact[@type = 'myself']/@contactId"/>
        <xsl:value-of select="head/contact[not(@type)]/@contactId"/>
        <xsl:value-of select="head/date/@year"/>
        <xsl:if test="head/date/@month &lt; 10">0</xsl:if>
        <xsl:value-of select="head/date/@month"/>
        <xsl:if test="string-length(substring-before(msg[1]/@time,' ')) &lt; 2">0</xsl:if>
        <xsl:value-of select="translate(msg[1]/@time,' :','.')"/>
  • Execute the command in the shell:


Save ~/.purple to backup all message logs, accounts and other application data.


Version Match for Sametime

There was an issue if you would connect to the Sametime via Pidgin, it prompt "Version Match". A potential solution on the client side is to fake the version in accounts.xml. Insert/change the lines:

<setting name='fake_client_id' type='bool'>1</setting>
<setting name='client_minor' type='int'>8511</setting>

in the <settings> section of Sametime account in accounts.xml which is located in $HOME/.purple/ folder.

Browser error

If clicking a link within Pidgin creates an error message about trying to use 'sensible-browser' to open a link, try editing ~/.purple/prefs.xml. Find the line referencing 'sensible-browser' and change it to this:

<pref name='command' type='path' value='firefox'/>

This example assumes you use Firefox.

As an alternative if the method above does not work you can set the desired browser in the pidgin preferences in the section "Browser".

ICQ Buddy Information encoding fix

You can change encoding for ICQ account if encoding in Buddy Information is not correct:

Account > your ICQ account > Edit account > Advanced tab

Select Encoding: CP1251 (for Cyrillic).

See also